Class 10 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 10 - The Sermon at Benares
The Sermon at Benares Exercise 135
When Kisa Gotami's son died, she went from house to house to al her neighbours , asking if she could get some medicine that would cure her child. No, she did not get it because her child was dead and no medicine could have brought him back to life.
When she met the Buddha, he asked her to get a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had lost a child, husband, parent, or friend. She went from house to house, but could not get the mustard seeds because there was not a single house where no one had died in the family.
Kisa Gotami understood the second time that death is common to all and that she was being selfish in her grief. There was no house where some beloved had not died. Yes, this was what the Buddha wanted her to understand.
Kisa Gotami understood that death is common to all and that she was being selfish in her grief. She understood this only the second time because it was then that she found that there was not a single house where some beloved had not died.
The first time round, she was only thinking about her own grief and wanted her son back at all cost and so was desperate for a medicine that would cure her son. When she met the Buddha, she begged of him also, to cure her son and he asked her to first get a handful of mustard seeds from a house where no one had died. He did this purposely to make her realize that there was not a single house where no beloved had died, and that death is natural. When she went to all the houses the second time, she felt dejected that she could not gather the mustard seeds. Then, when she sat and thought about it, she realized that the fate of men is such that they live and die. Death is common to all. This was what the Buddha had intended for her to understand.
'Selfishness' means being concerned only about one's own interests and showing complete disregard for the feelings or welfare of others.
Yes, it can be said that Kisa Gotami was being 'selfish in her grief'. In the light of her tragedy, she was unable to see that death is something that strikes all things living. In this sense, she was selfish. However, for every person, his/her tragedy is something personal and it prevents him/her from looking at the tragedy from a universal or general point of view. If we take the usual sense of the word 'selfish', then calling Kisa Gotami selfish would be inappropriate, because every person becomes selfish in his/her grief.
The Sermon at Benares Exercise 136
1. Give you medicine for your child
2. Please tell me
3. Kisa went to the Buddha
4. There was not a single house where no one had died
The single sentence using semicolons has a better rhythm. This is because the three
parts of the sentence are connected to each other in their meanings. The second clause gives further information on the first clause.
The third clause is directly related to both the first and the second. Their meanings are better conveyed when they are joined by semicolons.