The Sermon at Benares Class 10 JKBOSE Summary, Notes & Explanation in English

Gautama Buddha started his life as a prince named Siddhartha Gautama. He went to school to learn Hindi scriptures and came back home four years later. He got married to a princess. They had a son. 

While on a hunting spree, he came across a sick man, an aged man, a funeral procession, and finally a beggar. At once, he changed his mind and went on to seek enlightenment. 

He sought enlightenment for seven years and finally sat under a tree. He vowed never to move from there. After seven days, he got enlightened and renamed the tree as Bodhi Tree and started to teach his understanding. He became famous as Buddha. Buddha delivered a sermon at Benares.

Kisa Gotami had a son who had died. In her grief, she carried the dead child to her neighbors, asking for help. Everyone told her that her son was dead. Finally, one person replied to her request. He said that although he could not give medicine to her dead son, he knew a man who could. The name of this man was Sakyamuni, the Buddha.

Kisa Gotami went to Sakyamuni and told him about her grief (her dead son). Sakyamuni told her to bring some mustard seeds, but she must procure them from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent, or friend.

Kisa Gotami searched for mustard seed everywhere. When she asked people if anyone had died in their house, they replied that the living were few and the dead were many. There was no house without grief. She became hopeless. She saw the city’s lights flickering and at once understood that the lives of human beings are like the lights of the city.

She realized her selfishness. She went to Sakyamuni, who told her that everyone must die. All the fools and wise must fall prey to death. He also told Kisa Gotami that no one could save us from dying. A father can not save his son. Therefore, wise people do not grieve as they know that everyone must die one day.

Sakyamuni said that weeping and grieving over dead people can cause one’s health to deteriorate. One who overcame all the sorrow, became free from sorrow and grief.