NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight Chapter 8 The Sermon at Benares PDF download is available here. NCERT questions and answers of Class 10 English The Sermon at Benares are prepared by expert teachers. All these solutions are updated as per the latest CBSE syllabus and contain questions related to the story, which will help you to score good marks in the exams.
Class 10 The Sermon at Benares Questions and Answers
Thinking About the Text (Page No. 113)
Question 1. When her son dies, Kisa Gotami goes from house to house? What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Answer: After the death of her only son, Kisa Gotami was overcome with grief. She carried the dead body of her son in her arms and went from door to door asking for medicine to cure her child, but nobody could provide any medicine. For there is no such medicine available which can bring a dead person back to life.
Question 2. Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks with the Buddha. What does she ask for? Does she get it? Why not?
Answer: Gautama Buddha asks Kisa to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never knocked at the door. Kisa Gotami went from door to door, but couldn’t find a single house where death had not taken a beloved away. She could not get it as death is ineritable and anyone who is born is bound to die one day.
Question 3. What does Kisa Gotami understand the second time that she failed to understand the first time? Was this what Buddha wanted her to understand?
Answer: After failing to procure a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never knocked at the door, she sat down by the roadside feeling helpless. She saw the lights of the city that flickered and were extinguished. At last, it was darkness everywhere.
She realised that death was common to all and she was being selfish in her grief. Yes, this is what Buddha wanted her to understand, that everyone who is born has to die one day.
Question 4. Why do you think Kisa Gotami understood this only the second time? In what way did Buddha change her understanding?
Answer: Earlier, she could see only her grief. When she went from door to door the second time, she understood that everyone was dealing the with the loss of a beloved one. There was not a single house in the town, where death had not taken a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, son or a daughter. Everyone, at some point or the other, have experienced the death of their loved ones. Gautama Buddha helped her to understand all this, as he told her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where death had never knocked at the door. This way she got aware that death is common to all human beings.
Question 5. How do you usually understand the idea of selfishness? Do you agree with Kisa Gotami that she was being selfish in her grief?
Answer: Selfishness is a preoccupation with I, me, and myself. Kisa Gotami was not in a position to think about other people’s grief. It is natural to feel sad over the death of near and dear ones. But most people carry on their next responsibility of performing the last rites of the dead. People seldom carry a dead body in the hope of some miracle happening to that. The family and the society always come to be those in an hour of grief. But later on, life goes on. But Kisa Gotami was so engrossed in her sorrow that she forgot to think about the live members of the family and society.
Thinking about Language
Question I: This text is written in an old-fashioned style, for it reports an incident more than two millennia old. Look for the following words and phrases in the text, and try to rephrase them in more current language, based on how you understand them.
- give thee medicine for thy child
- Pray tell me
- Kisa repaired to the Buddha
- there was no house but someone had died in it
- Give you medicine for your child
- Please tell me
- Kisa went to the Buddha
- There was not a single house where no one had died
Question II: You know that we can combine sentences using words like and, or, but, yet and then. But sometimes no such word seems appropriate. In such a case we can use a semicolon (;) or a dash (—) to combine two clauses.
She has no interest in music; I doubt she will become a singer like her mother.
The second clause here gives the speaker’s opinion on the first clause. Here is a sentence from the text that uses semicolons to combine clauses. Break up the sentence into three simple sentences. Can you then say which has a better rhythm when you read it, the single sentence using semicolons, or the three simple sentences?
For there is not any means by which those who have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death; of such a nature are living beings.
Answer: 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.