The Sermon at Benares Summary

Story of Buddha

The story is based on the legend of Gautama Buddha who became an enlightened saint after years of contemplation and reflection. Born in a royal family he was given the name of Siddhartha.

After getting married he became his household life however we were never satisfied. He was perturbed by the sights of suffering wherever he went. He was pained by the state of poor people or men living in abject poverty and grief.

This moved his heart and he decided to give the life of palatial comforts and wander to find a sense of balance in his life. He traveled extensively and settled under a tree in Gaya.

Arrival at Banares

After spending years in deep thought he learned the secret of peace which a life of piety and compassion. He was cherished by people wherever he went. He arrived at Benares and imparted his first ever sermon.

People came in numbers to gain from his wisdom and knowledge. They brought all their problems with them in search of answers and advice from Buddha. One such visitor was a grieving mother who had lost her son.

She had asked everyone she found to help her revive her dead son. However, she was left disappointed every time. On the advice from the people of the town, she came to Buddha for help.

Buddha’s Condition

Buddha said he would revive her son on one condition. He asked her to bring plant seeds from a household where no death has ever taken place. Feeling hopeful, the woman left and searched for the whole town. She covered all the places yet could not find a family which had never experienced the loss of a loved one.

Tired and dejected she stopped for rest. She looked at the setting sun and the light slowly dimming into darkness. She recognized the sheer fragility of life and the inescapable nature of the death .