The Sermon at Benares
By– Betty Crenshaw
Summary in English- The Sermon at Benares
gautama Buddha was born in 563 B.C. He was horn in a royal family. He was a prince. His name was Siddhartha Gautama. At the age of twelve, he was sent away for schooling. He studied all the sacred Hindu scriptures. He returned after four years. At the age of sixteen, he married a princess. They had a son. For ten years the couple passed a happy life. Siddhartha had been shielded from the suffering of the world. However, when he was twenty-five, Siddhartha saw a sick man, then an aged man, then a funeral procession. Finally, he came across a monk begging for alms. This was his first encounter with the harsh realities of life. These sights made him so sad that he decided to renounce the worldly pleasures. He left his family and became a beggar. He went out into the world to seek spiritual knowledge.
Siddhartha Gautama wandered for seven years in search of wisdom and truth. Finally, he sat down under a fig tree to meditate. He vowed to stay there until he got enlightenment. After seven days. Gautama got enlightenment. He named the tree as the ‘Bodhi Tree’. that is ‘The tree of wisdom’. He became known as ‘the Buddha’ which means ‘enlightened’ or ‘the awakened’. He began to teach and to spread his message of wisdom and truth. He became known as the Buddha (the enlightened).
Buddha gave his first sermon at Benares. It is the holiest of places on the bank of the Ganges. His first sermon reflects his wisdom about one inscrutable kind of suffering i.e. death. Here, the Buddha tells about the universality of death which is inevitable and can’t be escaped.
A lady named Kisa Gotami had an only son. One day, her son died. She wanted her child should become alive again. She wanted some medicine to bring her son to’life. People called her mad. At last, she came across a man. He advised her to meet the Buddha. She approached Buddha with a request to give her medicine so that her only son could he live again. After deep thought, the Buddha asked her to bring a handful of mustard-seed. But there was a condition. She must bring it from a house where no one had died. Kisa Gotami went from door-to-door to get the mustard-seed. She found mustard: seed in every home but she could not find a home where nobody had died. By evening, she was sad and tired. She saw the lights of the city. soon there was the darkness of the night. Now she considered the fate of man. Now she realised that death is inevitable. No one can escape it.
she came back to the Buddha and asked for his blessings. The Buddha in his sermon told her that our life is brief and painful. Everyone who takes birth has to die. The vessel made by the potter is not permanent. It has to break one day. In the same way, everyone has to die. Death spares none. A father cannot save his son. Everyone grieves when someone dear dies. But grieving cannot bring the dead back to life. So death and sufferings are unavoidable. The wise persons do not grieve as they know the truth. Weeping does not bring peace to the mind. on the other hand, a person’s pain becomes greater by grieving. His body also suffers. One who has learnt to control his grief shall have peace of mind. That person is blessed, who has overcome his sorrow.
DETAILED SUMMARY (2) :
1.Buddha’s Early Life: Gautama Buddha (563 B.C. — 483 B.C.) was born as a prince. He was named Siddhartha Gautama. At the age of ten, he was sent away for schooling. He studied Hindu sacred scriptures. He was married to a princess at the age of sixteen. He had a son. Ten years of his married life were spent in royal luxuries. At the age of 25, he chanced upon a sick man, then an aged man, and then a funeral procession. Finally, he saw a monk begging for alms. These sights moved him. He gave up the luxuries of royal life. He set out in search of enlightenment. After wandering for seven years, finally, he meditated under a fig tree. Enlightened after seven days, he renamed the tree as the Bodhi Tree. It was the Tree of Wisdom. He became known as the Buddha — the Awakened or the Enlightened one. The Buddha preached his first sermon at Benares, the holy city on the Ganges.
2. Kisa Gotami’s Only Son Died: Kisa Gotami’s only son had died. She was deeply grieved. She carried her dead son to all her neighbours. She asked them for medicine. The people thought that she had lost her senses. At last, a man advised her to go to Sakyamuni, the Buddha. She went to him and requested to give some medicine that could ewe her son.