The Sermon at Benares

Question 21

What made Kisa Gotami weary and hopeless?


Kisa Gotami went from house to house asking for a handful of mustard seeds as instructed by the Buddha. She could not find a house where no one had ever died. So, she became weary and hopeless.

Question 22

What made Kisa Gotami compare the man’s life with the lights of the city?


Being weary and hopeless, Kisa Gotami sat on the wayside watching the lights of the city. She observed that they flared up and were went off again. watching them, she was considering the fate of the mankind. She found man’s life similar to the lights of the city as both flickered up, illuminated the world for sometime and then were extinguished to light up again. So she made a comparison.

Question 23

What did Kisa Gotami realize ultimately ?


Kisa Gotami eventually realized that death is common to all and human beings are subjected to mortality.

Question 24

How is man’s life similar to

(i)    the ripe fruits

(ii)    the earthen vessels.


(i) As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling, the mortals when born are always in danger of death. So, the two are similar.

(ii) The earthen vessels made by the potter end in being broken. Similarly, the mortals’ life is shaped. Life ends with the death of the mortals.

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