The Sermon at Benares

Question 5
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Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions that follow.
 At length, Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to her request : “I cannot give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can.” And the girl said: “Pray tell me, sir; who is it ?” And the man replied, “Go to Salyamuni, the Buddha.”

1. What was the cause for Kisa’s suffering?
2. What did she do after her only son died?
3. Pick out a phrase from the passage which means the same as ‘finally’.


Solution

1. Kisa suffered on account of the death of her only son.
2. She was not willing to accept the fact that her son had died. In her madness she carried the dead body of her son from house to house asking medicine which could cure her son.
3. At length.

Question 6
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Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
The Buddha answered : “I want a handful of mustard-seed.” And when the girl in her joy promised to procure it, the Buddha added : “The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent or friend.”

1. What did Buddha ask for and why?
2. Why was the girl happy when she heard the demand made by the lord?
3. Give the meaning of the word ‘procure’.


Solution

1. Buddha asked for a handful of mustard seed from a family where no one had ever died. He did so to make her realize the fact that death and sufferings are universal.
2. She was happy because she could get mustard seeds from any house easily. At that time she was not aware of sufferings in the world. She only thought about herself.
3. Obtain.

Question 7
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Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless and sat down at the wayside watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives flicker up and are extinguished again. And she thought to herself: “How selfish am I in my grief. Death is common to all; yet in this valley of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has surrendered all selfishness.”

1. Why did Kisa become weary and hopeless?
2. What did she do at the end of the day?
3. Give the meaning of the word ‘desolation’.


Solution

1. Kisa became weary and hopeless because for the whole day she was wandering from house to house trying to get a handful of mustard-seed from a house where no one had ever died.
2. At the end of the day, she sat down on the wayside watching the lights dying out and she noticed the darkness that was slowly enveloping the whole area.
3. Despondency.

Question 8
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Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
The Buddha said: “The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by which those that have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death; of such a nature are living beings. As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling so mortals when born are always in danger of death.

1.  What according to Buddha is the nature of human life on this earth?
2.  Can the humans escape death?
3.  Give the meaning of the word ‘avoid’.




Solution

1. According to Buddha the human life on this earth is short, troubled and combined with pain.
2. The humans can’t escape death. All those who are born must die one day.
3. Stay away from.

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