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The Sermon at Benares
By– Betty Crenshaw
Value Points of the Story
1. Gautama Buddha was born a prince. He was named Siddhartha Gautama.
2. He was married at the age of sixteen and enjoyed the royal luxuries for ten years.
3. He had a son. Up to the age of twenty-five, he was shielded from the sufferings of the world.
4. The sight of a sick man, then an aged man, and a funeral procession shocked him.
5. Finally, he saw a monk begging for alms.
6. He gave up royal pleasures and set out to seek enlightenment.
7. He wandered for seven years and finally sat down under a big tree in meditation.
8. Enlightenment came to him after seven days.
9. He named the big tree the Bodhi Tree or Tree of Wisdom.
10. He was known as the Buddha or the Awakened or the enlightened one.
11. The Buddha preached his first sermon at the holy city of Benares on the River Ganges.
12. Kisa Gotami’s only son had died.
13. She had lost her senses and carried the dead boy to all her neighbours. 3
14. She asked them for medicines to cure him.
15. She prayed the Buddha to give such medicine that night to cure her son.
16. The Buddha asked Kisa Gotami to bring a handful of mustard seeds.
17. She went from house to house and had no problem in getting a handful of mustard seeds. However, she did have a problem with finding a house where no one had died.
18. She considered the fate of men and realised that she was selfish in grief.
19. Death is common to all.
20. Surrendering all selfishness leads to immortality.
21. All earthen pots end in being broken.
22. The world is afflicted with death and decay.
23. He who has overcome all sorrows, Will become blessed and enlightened one.