The “Sermon at Benares NCERT Solutions” is a comprehensive study guide that provides clear, concise, and meticulously detailed answers to the questions posed in the NCERT English textbook’s chapter, “The Sermon at Benares.”
पाठकासंपूर्ण हिंदीं अनुवाद – The Sermon at Benares in Hindi
[PAGE 133] : गौतम बुद्ध (563 ईस्वीपूर्व)ने अपना जीवन उत्तरी भारत में सिद्धार्थ गौतम के नाम से शुरू किया था । 12 वर्ष की आयु में , हिन्दू धार्मिक ग्रन्थों का अध्ययन करने के लिए भेज दिया गया और चार वर्ष पश्चात् एक राजकुमारी से शादी करने के लिए वह घर लौटा । उनका एक बेटा था तथा दस वर्ष तक उन्होंने एक शाही परिवार वाला जीवन बिताया । लगभग 25 वर्ष की आयु में , राजकुमार , जिसे अब से पहले तक संसार के कष्टों से बचाकर रखा गया था , शिकार पर जाते समय उसे एक बीमार आदमी , फिर एक बुढा आदमी, फिर एक मृत आदमी की शवयात्रा और अन्त में भीख माँग रहा एक भिक्षु मिल गया । इन द्रश्यों ने उसे इतना हिला दिया कि वह तुरन्त उन दुखों के बारे में ज्ञान प्राप्त करने के लिए बाहरी संसार में चला गया जो उसने देखे थे । वह सात साल तक घूमता रहा और अंततः एक पीपल के वृक्ष के नीचे बैठ गया , जहाँ उसने तब तक बैठे रहने की प्रतीक्षा की जब तक उसे ज्ञानकी प्राप्ति नहींहोजाती।
Table of Contents
[PAGE 134] : सात साल के पश्चातज्ञानकीप्राप्ति होने पर उसने उस वृक्ष का पुन: नामकरण करते हुएउसे बोधि वृक्ष (ज्ञान का पेड़ ) का नाम दे दिया और वहाँ पर उपदेश देना तया अपनी नई समझ का प्रसार करना शुरु कर दिया । उस समय वह बुद्ध (जागृत एवं ज्ञानी) के रूप में प्रसिद्ध हो गया । बुद्ध ने अपना पहला उपदेश बनारस शहर में दिया था ,जो गंगा नदी पर स्थित घाटों में सबसे अधिक प्रसिद्ध है । उस उपदेश को सुरक्षित रखा गया जो यहाँ पर दिया गया । इससे एक अति कठिन प्रकार के दुःख के बारे में बुद्ध की बुद्दिमता का पता चलता है ।
किसा गौतमी का एक इकलौता पुत्र था , और वह मर गया । अपने दुःख में वह मृत बच्चे को अपने सभी पड़ोसियों के पास लेकर गई और उनसे औषधि की माँग की और लोग कहते थे , “वह पागल हो गई हैं। यह लड़का मर गया है।”
अंततः किसा गौतमी एक आदमी से मिली जिसने उसकी प्रार्थना का उत्तर दिया, “मैं तुम्हें तुम्हारे बच्चे के लिए औषधि नहीं दे सकता हूँ लेकिन मैं एक चिकित्सक को जानता हूँ जो औषधि दे सकता है।”
और औरत ने कहा , “भगवान के लिए मुझे बताइए, श्रीमान जी, वह कौन है ?” और उत आदमी ने उतर दिया,
“शाक्यमुनि , बुद्ध के पास जाओ ।”
किसा गौतमी बुद्ध के पास चली गई और रोते हुए बोली , “भगवान और स्वामी ,मुझे औषधि दीजिए जो मेरे लड़के को ठीक कर देगी ।”
बुद्ध ने उत्तर दिया , ” मुझे मुठ्ठी –भर सरसों के दाने चाहिए ।” और जब औरत ने अपनी प्रसन्नता में इसे प्राप्त करवाने का वायदा किया तो बुद्ध ने आगे कहा ,” सरसों के दाने ऐसे घर से हासिल करने हैं जिस घर में किसी बच्चे , पति ,माता-पिता या फिर मित्र की मौत न हुई हो ।”
बेचारी किसा गौतमी घर-घर भटकती रही तथालोग उस पर दया व्यक्त करते हुए कहते ,”ये रहे सरसों के दाने , इन्हें ले लो !” लेकिन जब वह पूछती , “क्या कोई बेटा या बेटी , पिता या माता की तुम्हारे परिवार में मृत्यु हुई है ?”वे उसे उतर देते, “अफसोस ! जीवित तो बहुत थोड़े हैं परन्तु मृत अनेकों है । हमें हमारे अत्यन्त गहरे दुःखों की याद न दिलाओ । तथा वहाँ कोई ऐसा घर नहीं था जहाँ किसी प्रियजन की मृत्यु न हुई हो ।
किसा गौतमी हताश और निराश हो गई , और सड़क के किनारे बैठकर शहर की रोशनियोंको निहारने लगी, जैसे-जैसे वे चमक रहीं थी और फिर लुप्त हो जाती थीं । अंत में रात का अँधेरा सभी जगह छा गया । तथा वह मनुष्य के भाग्य के बारे में सोचने लगी कि उनके जीवन टिमटिमाते हैं और फिर बुझ जाते हैं। तथा वह अपने मन में सोचने लगी, “मैं अपने दुख मैं कितनी स्वार्थी है ! मृत्यु तो सभी के लिए सांझी है , फिर भी गहरे दुःखों की इस घाटी में, एक रास्ता है जो ऐसे व्यक्ति को अमरता की ओंर ले जाता है जिसने सारे स्वार्थी का त्याग कर दिया है ।”
बुद्ध ने कहा, !”इस संसार में नश्वर लोगों का जीवन कष्टों से भरा हुआ है और बहुत छोटा तया पीड़ा से युक्त है।”
[PAGE135] :क्योंकि कोई भी ऐसा तरीका नहीं है कि जिसका इस पृथ्वी पर जन्म हुआ है उसकी मृत्यु न हो । बुढ़ापे में पहुँचने के पश्चात मौत आती हैं । जीवित जीवों की प्रवृत्ति ऐसी ही होती है । क्योंकि पके हुए फलों के नीचे गिरने का खतरा पहले होता है, इसलिए नश्वर जीव जब जन्म लेते है तो उनके लिए हमेशा मौत का खतरा है । जिस प्रकार कुम्हार के द्वारा बनाए गए मिट्टी के सभी बर्तनों का अंत टूटने से होता है , नश्वर जीवों का जीवन भी वैसा ही होता डै । छोटे तथा बड़े दोनों ऐसे जो मूर्ख हैं तथा वे जो बुद्धिमान हैं सभी मृत्यु के वश में आ जाते हैं । सभी मृत्यु के अधीन है ।
“‘वे जिनकी मृत्यु आ जाती है, जीवन से प्रस्थानकर ज्ञाते हैं, एक पिता अपने पुत्रको नहीं बना सकता है, न ही सम्बन्धी अपने किसी रिश्तेदार को । देख लीजिए । जिस समय सम्बन्धी देख रहे होते हैं और विलाप कर रहे होते हैं एक-एक करके नश्वरों को उसी प्रकार से उठाकर ले जाया जाता है जैसे किसी बैल को वध करने के लिए ले जाया जाता है। इसलिए संसार मृत्यु और जीर्णता से पीड़ित है , इसलिए बुद्धिमान लोग संसार की सीमाओं का ज्ञान रखते हुए दु:ख प्रकट नहीं करते है।”
” न तो रोने से और न ही दु:खी होने से किसी व्यक्ति को मन की शांति मिलतीहै, वल्किइसके विपरीत उसकी पीड़ा और बढ़ जाती है और उसका शरीर पीड़ित होता है । वह स्वयं को बीमारऔर कमजोर बना लेता है , फिर भी उसके विलाप करने से मृत को नहीं बचाया जा सकता है। वह जिसे शांति चाहिए होती है उसे विलाप करने, शिकायत करने और दुखी होने के तीर को निकाल बहार फैंक देना चाहिए। वह जिसनेइसतीर को बाहरनिकाल लिया है और शांत हो गया है उसे मन की शांति मिलेगी ।
वह जिसने सारे दु:खों पर काबू पा लिया है, वह सारे दु:खों से मुक्त हो जाएगा और भगवान का आशीर्वाद प्राप्त रहेगा।”
The Sermon at Benares NCERT Solutions
Activity – Page No.133
Use a dictionary or ask for your teacher’s help as you discuss the following questions in groups.
1. What is a sermon? Is it different from a lecture or a talk? Can this word also be used in a negative way or as a joke (as in “my mother’s sermon about getting my work done on time …”)?
Ans. A sermon is a ‘spoken or written discourse on a religious or moral subject’. It is serious in nature. It is different from a lecture or a talk because a lecture or a talk can be on any subject, while a sermon is on religion or a moral subject.
The word ‘sermon’ can be used in a negative way or as a joke also. In that case, it means a taunt, irony or sarcasm. For example, “Mohan is always sermonizing on any topic.”
2. Find out the meanings of these words and phrases given in the box :
|afflicted with be composed desolation |
lamentation procure be subject to
Ans. Afflicted with means to be affected with bodily or mental trouble.
Be composed means to have control over our mental faculties or to at peace with self. Desolation means a ruined or neglected state.
Lamentation means expressing one’s sorrow or grieving.
Procure means to obtain, to get, to find, etc.
Be subject to means to be governed by some rules, etc.
3. Have you heard of the Sermon on the Mount? Who delivered it? Who do you think delivered a sermon at Benares?
Ans. I think the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ was delivered by Jesus Christ. ‘A Sermon at Benares’ was delivered by Gautama Buddha. It was his first sermon after he got Enlightenment.
Thinking About the Text – Page No.135
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: When Kisa Gotami’s son died, she went from house to house, 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.
Question 2: Kisa Gotami again goes from house to house after she speaks with the Buddha. What does she ask for, the second time around? Does she get it? Why not?
Answer: 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.
Question 3: What does Kisa Gotami understand the second time that she failed to understand the first time? Was this what the Buddha wanted her to understand?
Answer: 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.
Question 4: Why do you think Kisa Gotami understood this only the second time? In what way did the Buddha change her understanding?
Answer: 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. First time around, she was only thinking about her grief and was, therefore, asking for a medicine that would cure her son.
When she met the Buddha, he asked her to 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 her to understand.
5. How do you usually understand the idea of ‘selfishness’? Do you agree with Kisa Gobimi that she was being ‘selfish in her grief?’
Ans. The idea of `selfishness’means thinking of oneself only and only of those things that concern one only. I agree with Kisa Gotami that she is selfish in her grief. She now understands that death is common to all. One should not grieve over a thing which is inevitable.
Thinking About Language – Page No.136
Question 1: 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 to tell me
- Kisa repaired to the Buddha
- there was no house but someone had died in it
Answer: 1. Give you medicine for your child
2. Please tell me
3. Kisa went to the Buddha
4. There was no house where no one had died
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 was 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.
Speaking – Page No.136
The Buddha’s sermon is over 2500 years old. Given below are two recent texts on the topic of grief. Read the texts, comparing them with each other and with the Buddha’s sermon. Do you think the Buddha’s ideas and way of teaching continue to hold meaning for us? Or have we found better ways to deal with grief? Discuss this in groups or in class.
1.A GUIDE TO COPING WITH THE DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
Martha is having difficulty sleeping lately and no longer enjoys doing things with her friends. Martha lost her husband of 26 years to cancer a month ago.
Anya. age 17, doesn’t feel like eating and spends the days in her room crying. Her grandmother recently died.
Both of these individuals are experiencing grief.
Grief is an emotion natural to all types of loss or significant change.
Feelings of Grief
Although grief is unique and personal, a broad range of feelings and behaviours are commonly experienced after the death of a loved one.
* Sadness. This is the most common, and it is not necessarily manifested by crying.
*Anger. This is one of the most confusing feelings for a survivor. There may be frustration at not being able to prevent the death, and a sense of not being able to exist without the loved one.
*Guilt and Self-reproach. People may believe that they were not kind enough or caring enough to the person who died. or that the person should have seen the doctor sooner.
*Anxiety. An individual may fear that she/he won’t be able to care for herself/himself.
*Loneliness. There are reminders throughout the day that a partner, family member or friend is gone. For example, meals are no longer prepared the same way, phone calls to share a special moment don’t happen.
*Fatigue. There is an overall sense of feeling tired.
*Disbelief. This occurs particularly if it was sudden death.
Helping Others Who Are Experiencing Grief
When a friend. loved one, or co-worker is experiencing grief—how can we help? It helps to understand that grief is expressed through a variety of behaviours.
Reach out to others in their grief, but understand that some may not want to accept help and will nix share their grief. Others will want to talk about their thoughts and feelings or reminisce.
Be patient and let the grieving person know that you care and are there to support him or her.
Soon after my wife died — her car slid off an icy road in 1985 — a school psychologist warned me that my children and I were not mourning in the right way. We felt angry; the proper first stage, he said, is denial.
In late August this year, my 38-year-old son, Michael, died suddenly in his sleep, leaving behind a 2-year-old son and a wife expecting their next child. There is no set form for grief, and no ‘right’ way to express it.
There seems to be an expectation that. after a great loss, we will progress systematically through the well-known stages of grief. It is wrong, we are told, to jump to anger—or to wallow too long in this stage before moving towards acceptance.
But I was, and am, angry. To make parents bury their children is wrong; to have both my wife and son taken from me, for forever and a day, is cruel beyond words.
A relative from Jerusalem, who is a psychiatrist, brought some solace by citing the maxim: ‘we are not to ask why, but what.’ The ‘what’ is that which survivors in grief are bound to do for one another. Following that advice, my family, close friends and I keep busy, calling each other and giving long answers to simple questions like, “How did your day go today?” We try to avoid thinking about either the immediate past or the bereft future. We take turns playing with Max, Michael’s two-year-old son. Friends spend nights with the young widow and will be among those holding her hand when the baby is born.
Focusing on what we do for one another is the only consolation we can find.
Answer : To be discussed at the class level.
Writing – Page No.138
Write a page (about three paragraphs) on one of the following topics. You can think about the ideas in the text that are relevant to these topics, and add your own ideas and experiences to them.
1.Teaching someone to understand a new or difficult idea
2. Helping each other to get over difficult times
3. Thinking about oneself as unique, or as one among billions of others
1. Teaching someone to understand a new or difficult idea
It is very difficult to teach someone to understand a new or difficult idea. Generally, people don’t like to change their old or settled ideas or opinions. When James Watt discovered steam engine, people laughed at him. They said that no force other than that of horses could pull wagons.
But with the passage of time, they were adapted to it. In the same way, when Copernicus said that the Sun is stationary and the earth revolves around it. people laughed at him.
Thus if you have a new or difficult idea and want it to be understood, you will have to work hard. You should be prepared to be the object Of people’s satire or even violence. But if you are true, you should not lose art. If your idea is workable. people will learn it sooner or later.
You should make people understand your idea by giving practical examples. You should demonstrator them that your idea has practical benefits. You should never give up. Only this way you can teach understand your idea.
2. Helping each other to get over difficult times
Our life is a mixture of joys and sorrows. It is a cycle of good and difficult times. Man is a social animal. He lives in society. Therefore it is not possible to avoid the sufferings and difficulties of others. If we find someone in a difficult time. we must extend our helping hand to him.
But sometimes, the whole community or group of people face difficult times. For example. there can be Rood, an earthquake or a draught. When such a calamity is there, many people suffer. In such a situation. the hot remedy is to work together and fight the calamity together. One good example of this was the calamity of Itimnami which struck the people of Tamil Nadu a few years ago. Then the people worked together and faced the calamity.
When such a difficult time comes, we should not think only of ourselves. But we must work collectively. We must pool our resources together and distribute them among all of us. The younger and able-bodied people oat help the weaker and older people. Children and women should also be given preference. We must teach others the lesson of courage.
3. Thinking about oneself as unique, or as one among billions of others
It is not a good idea to think about oneself as unique, or as one among billions of others. If we nourish such an idea it will do us more harm than good. Moreover, having this kind of idea means that we are very proud of ourselves. And we know that pride is evil. Pride has a fall.
History is full of examples where this kind of idea led to destruction. Hitler believed that he was one of a kind in billions. He thought that he belonged to a superior caste. He got millions of Jews killed. He attacked other countries in order to establish the superiority of the Germans. But what was the result? His egotism resulted in the Second World War and there was a lot of destruction.
Guru Nanak has said. “O Nanak, remain low and humble. When the storm comes, the tall and proud trees are uprooted. But the humble grass remains unaffected.” Thus be like a drop of water and mix with the ocean. Don’t become a stone which comes in the way of others and earns curses.